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Yvette Cooper: Young gay men face ‘huge mental health problems’ and we need stronger LGBT inclusive sex education

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  1. Poor mental health is at the heart of many of the problems gay men face as they mature into adults & it continues right up through the age spectrum – often being ignored or masked by the use of drugs, alcohol & sex to overcome deep seated emotional pain.

    Some adults manage to get the much needed help & support later on in life, but for others this can be too late.

    Mental health problems I believe are at the heart of the difficulties we see on the commercial gay scene right now, particularly in London. People are self medicating, taking risks with their lives & often they are judged by the poor decisions they make in life.

    The rise in STI / HIV / Hep C infections are the results of these deep seated problems. It is time that the various agencies world together to tackle this problem which has sadly been described as the “underbelly of gay culture” on these very comments pages, which I find offensive & unhelpful.

    We need to change our approach to the health of gay men.

    1. Christopher Hobe Morrison 10 Jun 2013, 7:50pm

      If you are ignored and persecuted over something you have no control over, you might just develop mental health problems. Does anybody question this?

  2. Tragically true and something needs to be done, but coming from a woman who is married to a new recruit to the Bilderbergers, one is forced to search for a potential motive or hidden agenda in anything she says from this point on.

    Charlatans one and all!

  3. I went to a Catholic high school and the PSHE was abismal, it does nothing to help anyone, what makes it worse, the PSHE classes were ran by the RE department so the Catholic views on sexual education were followed, in other words “don’t have sex before marriage” instead of “if you are going to have sex before marriage for Gods sake use a condom”

    It was a blessing that my Biology teacher was against PSHE ran by RE, so she taught us about condoms and safe sex, if she’s been caught she would have been for the high jump

    PSHE needs be mandatory and ran by neutral parties who can give the facts not the religious twaddle

    1. I went to Catholic high school, too. Our biology teacher showed us a video on sex education (back in 2005), but turned it off when the subject of condoms came up. So we learnt how to make babies (which we all already knew anyway) but we didn’t learn a thing about STDs. Not very helpful.

  4. my scoll here in NI i attened only a few years ago spent 30 seconds saying theres some birth control people Use bUt the most effective one is planning aroUnd a womens cycle… why are catholics still allowed to dictate schooling anywhere?

    1. David Jordan 10 Jun 2013, 4:33pm

      30 seconds more then my Catholic secondary school spent on the subject down here in the republic where the church has a strangle hold on education, knew another gay fellow who was outed in sixth year there and was the victim of horrible bullying to the point where he once confided to me that he had considered taking his own life.
      School did nothing to help him or act against the bullies, citing “ethos” concerns.
      Catholic school are not safe for our young people.

  5. This of course is at the root of why Catholic prelates think gays should be discouraged from being relaxed about their sexuality – they only meet gay people who are Catholics and who have been made to feel guilty about it. So they claim gays are unhappy people, whereas if it wasn’t for the attitude of the Church we would be whole and happy people – why does it take a Christian to make one feel guilty about one;s sexuality?

    1. Christopher Hobe Morrison 10 Jun 2013, 7:55pm

      It doesn’t! Orthodox Jews, Muslims, many Hindus, who knows what else. Even a few neo-Pagans who think that anything sexual that doesn’t involve “inset tab a into slot b” isn’t natural. There is plenty of bigotry around. Look at communism even.

  6. CH Brighton 10 Jun 2013, 3:34pm

    The lack of attention to their sexuality during school years means that many young gay men end up in all sorts of predicaments that their straight peers avoid. The worst problems can arise from trying to hide ones true nature from friends, family and teachers and not knowing how to find other gay people.

  7. essexgirlbecky 10 Jun 2013, 4:10pm

    So Elizabeth Truss thinks “teachers are best placed to understand the needs of their pupils and do not need additional central prescription.”

    Perhaps she ought to read Stonewall’s School Report 2012, which demonstrates that, ten years after it was repealed, the legacy of section 28 lives on, with teachers ill-equipped to deal with these issues, and some still turning a blind eye to LGBT exclusion, even whe they are confronted with it.

  8. Eleanor Saunders 10 Jun 2013, 4:30pm

    Why does the headline and content of this piece focus on young LGB men when the Stonewall research quoted highlights than young LGB women suffer mental health difficulties in higher numbers than LGB men? The report states that LGB girls are 2 x as likely to self-harm as boys, 50% of them have symptoms of depression compared to 30% of boys, and 29% attempt suicide compared to 16% of LGB boys.

    Yvette’s quotes don’t mention young men particularly, so I don’t understand why the writer of the piece has made it about men. Can they clarify, please? Young LGB women read this site and it worries me that their experiences have been erased here.

  9. Why does the headline and content of this piece focus on young LGB men when the Stonewall research quoted highlights that LGB girls suffer mental health difficulties in higher numbers than LGB men? The report states that LGB girls are 2 x as likely to self-harm as boys, 50% of them have symptoms of depression compared to 30% of boys, and 29% attempt suicide compared to 16% of LGB boys.

    Yvette’s quotes don’t mention young men particularly, so I don’t understand why the writer of the piece has made it about men. Can they clarify, please? Young LGB women read this site and it worries me that their experiences have been erased here.

    1. Well said Eleanor, I was a counsellor specifically for LGB youth a few years’ ago and it was clear mental health issues affect us all. I will second your call for a clarification from the writer of this piece as to why they have completely and specifically ignored the research pertaining to women and have misrepresented the content and meaning of what Yvette has said.

      1. Not got twitter but here his is twitter account @scottjsroberts if you get a reply I would grateful to see it if possible, will make interesting reading or see if will change the article but I fear not……..

        1. Thanks. Will try tweeting him.

  10. Yes, Ms. Cooper, we do indeed need stronger LGBT inclusive sex education in all schools, so please work at the following:

    1. Do not allow any exemptions for teachers in the Same Sex Couples Bill with regard to their instructing students about civil marriage for heterosexual and homosexual people.

    2. Ensure that ALL teachers in all faith schools are required to attend to THEIR LGBT students in exactly the same way that teachers in state schools are required to do. Due to the growing number of single-faith schools (Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, & Christian) this is an issue of great importance.

  11. where do they get this stuff from…its easier being gay now than ever….

  12. As an addendum to my earlier missive, I would add that the problems gay men face in being accepted today stem not so much from the mainstream community as our own.

    It is not until gay men arrive on an unforgiving, competitive and often hostile scene that many resort to drugs and booze as a coping mechanism to deal with the challenges and pressures to conform to manufactured perceive ideals of what a gay man should look like lest he be judged as oddball, and it is the less strong-willed and insecure who progress on to mental health issues and wanton destructive behaviour like the hard drugs-filled parties that our now rampant on the London party scene.

    Rather than being our own worst enemies, we need as a culture to stop being so shallow, selish and self-obsessed and work to restoring a sense of unity and, indeed, the community we have lost as we have desperately sought to emulate and chase the same shallow pursuits as the mainstream.

    We need to find out identity again.

  13. Christopher Hobe Morrison 10 Jun 2013, 7:48pm

    Being hetero, the only thing I didn’t like about her speech was that she is married and I am way too old for her.

  14. Bisexual men and women face greater marginalisation even than gay men and lesbians. The report talks about gay and bisexual men. The Pink News headline talks about gay men. Instant invisibility and not helping with one contributor to bisexual men feeling like second class citizens, even in the queer* community..

  15. Homophobia starts at school. Tackle it there – strongly and effectively – and you break the cycle. Successive governments have failed to address this issue fearing accusations of ‘promoting’ homosexuality. What’s worse? A facile accusation of that nature or one of being accused of allowing young gay men to die?

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