Today, I participated in a Straight Talk. A Straight Talk is simply a panel of members of the LGBTQIA community who do exactly that; talk to you straight. No question is taken offensively and all answers provided by the panel are bluntly honest. The audience can be as politically incorrect as they chose because it is a learning experience. Members of the audience are encouraged to ask any question without hesitation. Some of the topics include politics, religion, gay marriage, and discrimination.
While I was up there speaking and listening, it was interesting to me how many "out" students had problems in middle and high school. Many of them talk about confiding in teachers (and an overwhelming majority of them were English teachers) but the students still felt hopeless. It was them against the world.
This will eventually impact a student's performance. She may feel unsafe and unwelcome in her classes. He may stop coming to school altogether. Sometimes events like these that transcend the classroom become something that we, as teachers, have to deal with. Below is the link to GLSEN's website (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network). They have tons of information for educators, students, and supporters.
Even if you don't use it yourself, it may be a future resource that you can give to a student in need. Dealing with a situation where a student is "out" can be a sticky situation as parents, other students, and the administration all get involved. You might experience a situation such as this when you are teaching, but you don't have to go through it alone. Check it out!