The Facts

The following is from the current government’s ‘Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward’. You can download the full document here.

Key facts:

  • 65% of LGB secondary school pupils experience homophobic bullying at school
  • 97% of LGB pupils report regularly hearing homophobic language in school
  • secondary school teachers consider transgender students the least supported in school, with only 7% saying that the school supports them
  • Children in England who report being bullied did 15% worse at GCSE and were twice as likely not to be in education, employment or training at age 16.

In a study of young LGB people in Glasgow, the majority reported having thoughts of suicide at some time six to eight times more than the general population.

Stonewall’s survey on lesbians found that:

  • One in five lesbian and bisexual women have deliberately harmed themselves in the last year, compared to 0.4 per cent of the general population.
  • Half of women under the age of 20 have self-harmed compared to one in fifteen of teenagers generally.
  • Five per cent have attempted to take their life in the last year and sixteen per cent of women under the age of 20 have attempted to take their own life.
  • ChildLine estimate that 0.12 per cent of people under 18 have attempted suicide.
  • One in five say they have an eating disorder, compared to one in 20 of the general population

Trans People

  • 73% of respondents experienced harassment
  • 47% of trans people do not use public social leisure facilities for fear of discriminatory treatment
  • 64% of young trans men 44% of young trans women experience harassment and bullying at school from both pupils and school staff
  • Many trans people leave school early, but 34% obtain a degree or higher degree
  • 45% of respondents reported family breakdown due to their cross gender identity
  • 37% are excluded from family events and have family members who no longer speak to them because they have transitioned to their acquired gender,
  • 20% of respondents felt informally excluded from their local community and neighbourhood since their transition.

from Engendered Penalties

Teachers and Staff in Education

  • Two in three secondary school staff and more than two in five primary school staff (44 per cent) who hear homophobic language such as ‘you’re so gay’ or ‘that’s so gay’ do not always respond.
  • One in five secondary school staff say they rarely or never respond.
  • More than two in five secondary school teachers (43 percent) and three in ten primary school teachers have heard homophobic language or negative remarks about gay people from other school staff.

From Stonewall teachers report

  • Sixty per cent of respondents have experienced harassment or discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • The biggest perpetrators were pupils, followed by colleagues, managers and pupils’ parents.
  • Only a quarter of schools had a code of conduct on homophobic/biphobic/transphobic behaviour but in 65 per cent of cases, the policy was not properly enforced.
  • The impact of this kind of harassment is potentially devastating. Of those who completed the survey, 50 had become stressed or ill, 24 were afraid to go into work and 14 teachers resigned, all as a direct result of their experiences in school.

From Teacher Support Network

Given the appalling figures above it is hardly surprising we see the following behaviours in our young LGBT people

  • Alcohol and drug misuse
  • Truancy as students seek to escape from the persecution
  • Giving up on academic achievement as students find they are unable to work effectively in such an environment;
  • Suffering from emotional, mental and/or physical health conditions, such as eating disorders, as a result of the anxiety and eroded self esteem;
  • Promiscuous sexual practices leading to early pregnancies due to confusion and internalised homophobia
  • Homeless/Running away from home, when parents are very hostile to young LGBT children some feel forced to leave home and move into dangerous accommodation and become homeless.