Characters Unite

characters welcome


PSA Transcript

Whether it’s on the field, in the locker room, or anywhere else, no one deserves to be bullied, harassed or called names because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

So it’s time to speak up and speak out.

Together, we can help create a climate that’s safe for all and respectful of everyone.

This Characters Unite Month, find out from GLSEN how you can make a difference.

Go to to help stop hate and bullying.

The Facts

  • LGBT students commonly avoided spaces like school locker rooms (39.0%) and P.E. classes (32.5%) and school athletic fields or facilities (22.8%).

  • Very few LGBT students (20.6%) felt comfortable talking to their P.E. teachers or coaches about LGBT issues.

  • More than half of LGBT students were bullied or harassed in their P.E. class because of their sexual orientation (52.8%) or gender expression (51.0%).

  • More than a quarter of LGBT students reported being harassed or assaulted while playing on a school sports team because of their sexual orientation (27.8%) or gender expression (29.4%).

    (Source: GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey)


As part of Characters Unite Month, USA is premiering special themed episodes of “Necessary Roughness” featuring a gay quarterback on the New York Hawks coming out and dealing with the reactions from teammates, coaches and the media. In the storyline, the quarterback faces harassment, name-calling and prejudice that cause him to question whether he can reveal his sexual orientation and remain a successful athlete on the field.

LGBT youth today face similar challenges in athletic settings and physical education. According to GLSEN, many report avoiding sports and physical education due to being tormented and bullied. In an effort to work towards a safer, more respectful and inclusive sports environment for all—regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity—GLSEN provides information and resources to LGBT athletes, educators, allies and more.

The Characters Unite Month episodes premiere Feb. 13 & 20, 10/9c.